Op-Ed: Ayatollahs See Sudan Strike as Israeli Warning
Historically, there has been an inverse correlation between Iran’s ad hominem saber-rattling provocations and a delicate decision for an expedient Israeli military action.
In a puckish attempt designed to break the stalemate and reassure the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that its intentions are peaceful, Iran quietly converted its enriched uranium to fuel rods used for medical isotopes last summer.
As a result, the intriguing but predictable diplomatic gambit by Iran’s ruling clerical regime avoided an immediate crisis culminating before the November election.
Iran’s decision to consign a proportion of its enriched uranium stockpile to civilian use has averted a crisis that could easily have led to Israel launching air strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Startling new evidence also came to light when Iran risked Israeli military retaliation Monday with the dispatch of a naval task force to Sudan just days after a widely reported Israeli airstrike against a missile base staffed by Iranian engineers in Khartoum.
Although Israel remains officially silent, the long-range bombing run by eight F-15 bombers evidences the Jewish state's determination to defuse threats against it anywhere- the greatest of which is the Iranian nuclear program.
Israel’s alleged bombing of Khartoum ‘Shehab’ ballistic missile factory may be a warning to Tehran that it could be the next target.
Indeed, if Israeli fighter jets did fly 1,900 km. to the Sudanese capital to bomb a rocket factory October 24, the move could represent a major blow to Iranian efforts to smuggle arms into Gaza, and contain a demonstrable threat to Tehran of what may occur if it continues to develop its nuclear weapons program.
Israel believes Sudan is a key transit point for arms smuggled through Egypt to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
In 2009, Sudan blamed Israel for previous attacks, including a deadly air strike on a weapons convoy.
Perhaps implicitly, the preventive Israeli strike on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and the 2007 bombing of a Syrian nuclear reactor were an enlightening reminder.
Notwithstanding, Iran has for years been building up the missile arsenal of its proxies, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and Sudan in an attempt to deter an Israeli military strike.
Ayatollahs are masters of deception
Arguably, the ayatollahs are masters of deception and diplomatic avoidance.
From Tehran's perspective, its greatest need is to gain some time. This is precisely the main reason why Iran’s game plan is actually similar to a Pyongyang-style pattern of deceit – stalling and negotiating while it enriches uranium- a diplomatic strategy that has served them well in the past.
Iran knows for sure, that when the ‘zone of immunity’ or ‘red lines’ is breached, the unthinkable destruction to its administrative-industrial-military-complex infrastructures including the inner sanctum of the mullah-led regime is unavoidable.
The theocratic regime understands that an inadvertent rush towards a nuclear weapon unequivocally provokes a determined Jewish state to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with or without US help.
Interestingly, at the time when the Islamic republic in the verge of massive economic collapse and civil unrest, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Barack Hussein Obama seem to have struck a secret nuclear deal before the US presidential election.
For one, the inauspicious deal is a life-saving measure that works both ways– first, to get Obama re-elected and second, to prevent a casus belli reason for Israel to attack Iran.
Of course, after-the-fact chicanery- a nuclear breakthrough in an election year is politically motivated and patently ridiculous.
The deception-by-default which is endemic of a weak pro-Islamist Obama presidency is just a bunch of malarkey and emblematic of the failed economic sanctions against Iran.
Apparently, however, the situation today is far more dangerous and complicated by Team Obama’s ties to Muslim Brotherhood.
Under Obama’s watch, Iran’s uranium enrichment stockpiles have grown exponentially over the last 4 years.
Earlier this year, Tehran has amassed 189kg of uranium enriched to 20 per cent purity, a vital step towards weapons-grade material.
In any event, Iran is now using 9,852 centrifuges to enrich uranium, according to the IAEA, so its stockpile is being replenished.
In an astonishing display of the White House bias and hypocrisy, during the 2010 UN Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, Obama endorsed a 188-nation agreement which called upon Israel to join the NPT and open its nuclear facilities to international inspection, but failed to even mention Iran.
But unlike Pakistan or North Korea, Iran’s fanatical messianic regime is an existential threat to Israel; which the Jewish state must deal decisively with military action if necessary and before it is too late.
Why bombing Iran will lead to regional peace and stability
The most troublesome aspect in the escalating Middle East conflict is – that no one can say with confidence how the US will react to a multi-front Israel-Iran war.
In all probability, it is safe to assume that the cascade of false flag events in the volatile region could certainly drag the US into an unpredictable geo-political quagmire.
More than likely, Israel might ultimately destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities by any means, covert or otherwise- after which there will be no diplomatic blowback.
The result is quantifiable in the wake of the latest surprise air strike in Sudan that put Iran on notice that this is an inopportune time to mess up with Israel.
The US concern is quite understandable. Simply put, in any war of attrition, military force usually has the opposite effect from what is intended to happen.
On the contrary, an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities will result in regional stability in the Middle East.
In an interview with a French magazine Paris Match , Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to convince Arab states that an Israeli military strike on Iran would benefit them, removing a potential threat and easing tensions across the Middle East.
In retrospect, appreciating the logic of Israel’s military power is not enough; since the undermining of its military capabilities and leaking of secrets to its enemies by its own ally, the US - Iran would never believe otherwise.
To a large extent, Obama’s back-channel secret deal and dubious recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium affected the sanctions regime pursuit of nuclear power. And that is what makes Iran even more belligerent, dangerous and unpredictable.
Like it or not, western complacency is a major drawback and inaction is an indeterminate factor that will not prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in the foreseeable future.
Clearly, the uncertainty of an Israeli surgical strike on Iran knows no bounds and impervious to reason, but the potential consequences of inaction are too dramatic to ignore this time.
In the final analysis, Israel’s determination to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities depends in large measure to its confidence to sort out between a balance of terror and a balance of military power.